SACRAMENTO, CA –Today, the Sacramento Kings pledged to donate fans’ 2014-2015 season ticket deposits back into local reading and literacy initiatives. The initiative is expected to generate as much as $100,000 for the following local efforts:
- - United Way's STAR Readers project helps local children with significant challenges read at level by the end of third grade. The Kings’ donation will be used for assessment tools, as well as adding dozens of children from a waiting list into the program.
- - The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE)’s Preschool Bridging Model+ enhances the quality of child care for three to five year-olds by incorporating on-site mentoring and coaching support for private child care centers and family child care homes, educational and quality improvement planning, and instructional materials to enhance classroom environments. The Kings’ donation will allow SCOE staff to provide professional development and resources to private child care centers and family child care providers in high-need communities. Additionally, the staff will conduct parent workshops and provide resources for a lending library.
- - Sacramento READS! is a ten-year initiative targeted to children up to eight-years-old to improve literacy by focusing on school readiness, school attendance and summer learning loss. The Kings’ donation will expand the existing program.
- - The Sacramento Public Library delivers more than 2,300 programs annually to children under the age of five, serving more than 65,000 children and their parents and caregivers, teaching through play, music, stories and fun. The $25,000 donation will help expand the 1,600 reading programs delivered throughout 28 locations by 20 percent. The Kings’ donation will also help secure tablets for every location, providing children appropriate learning apps and tools.
“The Sacramento Kings continue to demonstrate their strong commitment to our community,” said Rivkah Sass, director of the Sacramento Public Library System. “This donation will help ensure our children are at appropriate reading level by the end of the third grade, the critical age when students transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Those who do not meet this critical milestone may face a lifelong and serious disadvantage, especially when it comes to academic excellence and career options.”
"We have too many children who are not reading at grade level in Sacramento,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson. “It is a priority of mine to make sure we invest more resources in effective programs to get this right. I commend the Kings for stepping up to help provide those resources. It is going to take a continued effort from the Kings and the broader community to help make the improvements we all want to see for our kids."
“Only 37 percent of Sacramento’s third graders are reading at level,” said Chris Granger, President of the Kings. “We can do better, and we believe that investing in early childhood education will help local students achieve their dreams and grow up to be the next generation of Sacramento leaders.”
The campaign was announced at the 2014 Sacramento State of the City, during which Mayor Johnson discussed the importance of improving education, gave an update on the future Entertainment and Sports Complex (ESC) and released a second round of renderings.
“Mayor Johnson has done so much to instill confidence and a sense of civic duty in our community,” said Granger. “We applaud his continued commitment to developing the downtown Sacramento core, as well as to quality of life issues like education, health and the arts.”
The reading and literacy campaign starts on February 12 through March 3, which is National Reading Day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday. In the coming weeks, the Kings will announce additional community events to raise further public awareness on the campaign.
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